Choosing a Oneworld Frequent Flyer Program

one-world1One member is currently trying to determine the best frequent flyer program to use within the oneworld alliance. This member travels three times per year between Australia and the UK in Business class. Status is the most important consideration for this member, however the ease and value of earning & burning points is also a factor.

So my parents are moving to the UK at then end of the year and so now I have a choice of Frequent Flyer programs to choose from (And airlines to Fly).

I would like to stay within Oneworld and have tentatively settled on either staying with Qantas FF (And flying Via DXB to LHR) or jumping ship to BAEC (And flying BA or QF via their respective cities, the calculator doesn’t seem to differentiate between them).

One member is adamant that the British Airways Executive Club program offers the best overall value. Avios, the currency of British Airways, are particularly valuable on short-haul redemptions. Just 4,500 Avios are required for a short flight, compared to 8,000 Qantas points. British Airways members also earn full status credits (known as “tier points”) when flying on any oneworld partner airlines. With Qantas, the number of points and status credits earned is reduced when flying on certain partner airlines.

Unless you plan to fly QF for the vast majority of your trips, IMO you will be better off with BA: Avios are nearly twice as valuable as QFF points & can fly any OW and get full SCs

However, there are a number of advantages to sticking with Qantas. Firstly, the airline flies direct from Melbourne to London. Qantas also partners with Emirates, which offers a great Business class product and multiple daily flights on the route. Qantas points can also be used to upgrade to First class when flying on a Qantas aircraft. Finally, sticking with Qantas will help our member to reach lifetime Silver and Gold status. This member is already well on the way to lifetime Silver.

Two other oneworld programs that our members suggest are worth looking into are the American Airlines AAdvantage and Cathay Pacific programs. American Airlines miles are particularly valuable, and status benefits include free system-wide upgrades when American. However, the AAdvantage program was recently devalued, losing much of its edge in the process. Our member would also need to fly American at least 4 times per year to maintain status, and many of the best benefits of status are available only on when flying on American flights.

AAdvantage was previously an excellent programme for OW frequent flyers but less clear-cut since devaluation and the enforcement of the 4 AA-coded flights rule. An interesting consideration is that Etihad partners with AA

The Cathay Pacific program offers valuable Asia Miles which can be used for high value redemptions. However, status with Cathay Pacific is more difficult to achieve.

Cathay’s Marco Polo Club has good redemption rates and lower taxes but status harder to earn than QF/BA. Upgrades for status pax more common than on QF

Add your suggestions to the mix HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]